To become a certified planner, entitled to use the AICP designation, American Planning Association (APA) members must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass a written examination. The AICP Certification Exam is given twice each year, in May and November. The first step is to complete and submit an application and the exam fee by a specified deadline (typically 5 to 6 months in advance of the testing window). Once your application is accepted, you may register to take the exam. Information about the AICP process can be found at

Exam Prep Resources

CPC Exam Prep:

The Chapter President’s Council Exam Prep Study Manual can be made available by contacting David Wilwerding, AICP, Iowa APA Chapter PDO at   

National APA Exam Prep:

National APA offers an extensive AICP Exam Prep session at each National Conference, and now offers videos of this presentation as well as their slide show for free on their website at

APA Iowa Conference:

APA Iowa offers an abbreviated AICP Exam Prep session at each State Conference; this presentation is available here.

 AICP Exam Update:

Please note that the AICP Commission has updated the AICP exam to make sure it remains current in today’s changing planning climate.  As a result, there are new test questions and other changes to the process that began with the May 2017 exam and all tests going forward.  You can keep up with the latest information on the exam at   

Other Study Resources

One suggestion often offered is to start your studying with the free sample tests/questions and see where your weaknesses are and then focus your studying on those areas. 

Other useful resources include:

  •  Entirely free and is managed by the same individuals that offer the AICP Exam Prep session at APA National.  This site includes free sample questions.